Photo credit: Thomas Hawk
I’ve been asked hundreds of times to quote for a web site project. Nothing strange about it, right? The thing is, the web site project consists of only one page!
So have I ever taken any of these one page web site projects? Not even once. So what do I normally do then? Well, I just informed the person that he can actually create a simple web page himself with software that might already be available on his computer.
Almost all of them are shocked to find out that they can actually create web pages using software that is normally already installed on a typical computer. They thought that creating web pages must be done by professional web developers or by using expensive web development software!
Well, if you’re among this group of people I’m going to tell you how you can create simple web pages using commonly available software.
Believe it or not, all of the commonly used Microsoft Office applications can create web pages from its native file format.
You can save Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and entire PowerPoint presentations as web pages by using the Save As function under the File drop down menu.
For Microsoft Word, I recommend that you save your document as Web Page, Filtered. It provides a cleaner output compared to the normal save as web page option.
I also found that quite a lot of PowerPoint presentations that’s exported as web pages can only be rendered properly using Internet Explorer. It probably uses a lot of IE-specific instructions that can’t be rendered perfectly by better web browsers.
If your computer doesn’t come with Microsoft Office and you aren’t particularly impressed by its price tag, don’t worry. There’s a perfectly suitable free alternative in the form of OpenOffice.org and it can save documents as web pages and PDFs as well. For those who spend most of their computing time online, then you can make use of Google Docs and later save your work as HTML.
If you’d like to have more web-specific features in your web page composing software without having to grapple with code you might want to check out KompoZer, a WYSIWYG web authoring tool. It’s free, open source software and there’s a version of KompoZer for the most common operating systems; Windows, Linux and MacOSX.
Web page composition is not just for professionals. Anyone can do it and it’s a pretty useful skill to have nowadays. With the right mindset (ie. eager to learn) and the proper tools, you can be creating beautiful web pages in no time at all.